Diaper Island - Flemish Eye/Sub Pop
FILTER Grade: 86%
By Dom Sinacola on May 17, 2011
Chad VanGaalen is capable of anything. He can inspire the Canadian government to fund his blasphemous animated film; mentor an unremarkable band called Women as an uncompromising promise for the indie rock future; sell at a Starbucks counter; stop bullets with his mind. So for Diaper Island, his fourth full-length, VanGaalen proves he can bang out garage rock as easily as 8-bit bedroom symphonies, and better than he has any right to. Minus the distractions of his earlier electro-harried work, Diaper’s as spiritually rock and roll as VanGaalen gets. “Sara” goes for the gut, all sad and lovely. “Do Not Fear” and “Peace on the Rise” grind down prog-rock mechanics into an elemental purr. “Blonde Hash” pulses; “Replace Me” rages; and “Shave My Pussy,” sincerely, resonates. Though Diaper Island sounds sadly straightforward for something called Diaper Island, it’s still a welcome showcase for VanGaalen’s seemingly limitless talent.